We all know that calcium is an important ingredient when it comes to building and keeping strong bones. But your skeleton isn’t the only thing that relies on calcium. The truth is, each one of our teeth is made up of 70% calcium! That makes this mineral essential for a lifetime of good oral health. But how much calcium do you really need to reap all of its benefits? Why is it important to keep fueling our bodies with calcium? Our Austin dental office is here to answer those questions and more.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
Like most other nutritional guidelines, how much calcium you personally need depends on a few things including your age and gender. As you’ll see in the chart from the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) below, recommended calcium intake varies from age to age and fluctuates over time.
- 0-6 months = 200 mg for both males and females
- 7-12 months = 260 mg for both males and females
- 1-3 years = 700 mg for both males and females
- 4-8 years = 1,000 mg for both males and females
- 9-18 years = 1,300 mg for both males and females
- 19-50 years = 1,000 mg for both males and females
- 51-70 years = 1,000 mg for males, 1,200 mg for females
- 71+ years = 1,200 mg for both males and females
Exactly Why is Calcium Important?
Besides being crucial for strong bones and teeth, calcium is required in order for our bodies to function properly. Day to day, our bodies will extract the calcium it needs from what we have stored in our bones. Since our calcium supply is always being borrowed from, it’s really important that we replace what’s taken out. We do this through eating and drinking foods high in calcium.
Vitamin D is Important, too!
Even if you’re consuming your recommended amount of calcium daily, your Austin dentist wants you to know that you may still not be replacing what your body uses up. In order for calcium to be properly absorbed by the body it needs the helping hand of vitamin D. So as you’re loading up on calcium-rich foods, make sure to also choose some options with a good amount of vitamin D to really replenish your body’s calcium levels.
What Foods Are High in Calcium?
Calcium is most commonly found in dairy food and drinks including milk, cheese, and yogurt. But dairy isn’t the only food group where you can find calcium-rich choices. Other foods that are high in calcium, and usually vitamin D too, include:
- Orange juice
- Calcium-fortified cereal
The team at our dental office in Austin encourages all of our patients to eat not only their recommended daily intake of calcium, but an overall well-balanced diet to keep their bodies, and their smiles, healthy.